Nebraska

Blue Dog PAC Endorses Eight Democrats for 2018
Blue Dogs’ numbers ticked up in 2016

The Blue Dog PAC endorsed former Rep. Brad Ashford on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Blue Dog Coalition’s PAC backed eight Democratic House challengers Thursday in its first round of endorsements of the 2018 cycle. 

Endorsements come with a $5,000 check — the maximum a PAC is allowed to contribute to a federal candidate per election. The PAC can cut each candidate another $5,000 check if they clear the primary and run in the general election.

Beyer on the Words That Made His Spelling Bee Career
Virginia Democrat tries to win back his National Press Club Spelling Bee title

Members of the politicians’ team after the National Press Club Spelling Bee in 2015. From left, Rep. Brad Ashford of Nebraska, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey, the winner Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. of Virginia, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota. (Courtesy Noel St. John/National Press Club)

In one of Washington’s most beloved nerdfests, members of Congress will take on members of the D.C. media in the National Press Club Spelling Bee on Tuesday.

Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., who won for the politicians’ team in 2015, has redemption on his mind.

Word on the Hill: Kaine and Alexander’s Bipartisan Jam
Free fries, and kickball for Harvey recovery

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, left, and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander have a concert on Friday. (Courtesy bristolrhythm.com)

Music lovers can catch Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., on the harmonica and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., on the piano this Friday night.

Their band The Amateurs are performing at the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, a music festival this weekend in Bristol, a community that straddles the Virginia-Tennessee state line. The dynamic duo goes on stage at 5 p.m.

Schumer’s Big Gamble on the Virtue of ‘Yes’
Most Senate minority leaders are all about ‘no’ — but the Trump era isn’t like most times

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer has transformed this fall’s congressional dynamic and has become the breakout senatorial star of the season. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If the Senate’s governing principle can be reduced to this, “Saying no is easier than saying yes,” then it makes sense that leading the caucus so often focused on stopping stuff is much less demanding than being in charge of the group that’s always held responsible for getting things done.

Six men have personified this lesson during the past 40 years, former senators who had both responsibilities while they were floor leaders. For Democrats Robert C. Byrd, Tom Daschle and Harry Reid, as well as for Republicans Howard H. Baker Jr., Trent Lott and Bob Dole, solid arguments can be made that their stewardships were much more successful as minority leaders than as majority leaders.

Senators Could Lose ‘Blue Slip’ Input on Circuit Judges
President would have less reason to consult with lawmakers

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley has signaled he might end a tradition that gives senators a de facto veto power over nominees to federal appeals courts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A looming showdown over a Senate tradition could strip senators of a de facto veto power over nominees to federal appeals courts — and give President Donald Trump less reason to consult with senators about which judges should be appointed.

The Judiciary Committee’s “blue slip” process has required senators to return a blue slip of paper before the committee schedules hearings and markups of nominees for federal judgeships from their home states. No slip, no hearing. That has made it essential for the White House to get a senator’s buy-in on a nomination.

Why Most House Republicans Voted for a Deal They Loathed
Debt haters and defense hawks made up most no votes

Texas Rep. Pete Olson, seen here at a Wednesday press conference, was among the 21 of 25 Texas Republicans to vote for final passage of the Hurricane Harvey relief measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Most House Republicans griped about the fiscal package they were forced to vote on Friday, but ultimately, a relatively small portion of the conference was willing to vote against it.

A little more than one-third of House Republicans voted against a package that would extend government funding and the debt ceiling for three months, while providing $15 billion in disaster relief aid, primarily to Texas and Louisiana to help with the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

GOP Super PAC Expands Field Presence to 17 Districts
Congressional Leadership Fund opens offices in six more districts

Congressional Leadership Fund is opening a field office in New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance’s district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican super PAC backed by House leadership is expanding its field program by opening new offices in six GOP-held districts. 

Congressional Leadership Fund now has a 17 field offices across the country.

Who Won Recess?
Lawmakers make the scene back home

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., appeared on Bill Maher’s show in August to promote his new book, “A Giant in the Senate,” after canceling an earlier scheduled spot in protest. (Courtesy Janet VanHam/HBO).

One lawmaker played teacher but ended up learning from kids. Another gave hugs to those who care for the youngest opioid addicts. Many donned their eclipse glasses and looked skyward.

And one became the Python Hunter of the Everglades.

Word on the Hill: Blumenthal Against Bullies
McCain’s birthday, Rubio at Dolphins practice, body scanners, Boxer weighs in on A’s stadium, and Sasse on MLK

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is looking into the dispute between Uber and a hair salon in his home state. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Uber, the ride-sharing company, is being accused of forcing UberSalon, a hair salon in Fairfield, Conn., to close down and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, wants to get to the bottom of the controversy.

Salon owner Dawn Marie Ganino said she received a letter from Uber threatening to take legal action over a trademark violation, West Fair Online reported.

Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer Gets Democratic Challenger
Jane Raybould hit Fischer for her vote to confirm Betsy DeVos

Democrat Jane Raybould cited her experience in running a business and local government in announcing her challenge to Nebraska Republican Sen. Deb Fischer. (Jane Raybould for U.S. Senate via Facebook)

Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer received a Democratic challenger as Lincoln City Council member Jane Raybould announced she would challenge the Republican incumbent.

Raybould criticized Fischer on both health care and for her vote to confirm Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Omaha World-Herald reported.